Monday, February 08, 2010

We owe it to you! {CHD week}

(Me with Dr. Azakie after learning Joshua made it through his first OH surgery)

Today I want to highlight some of the amazing people who've touched our lives on our CHD journey.  The first person is Dr. Azakie, Joshua's cardio-thoracic surgeon. Dr. Azakie first operated on Joshua's tiny heart when he was only 3 days old. His amazing skill has granted Joshua a very normal life. He operated on Josh when he needed his diaphragm repaired due to paralysis. He operated on his heart again at 4 months old & once more to place a pacemaker at 5 months.   Dr. Azakie will preform Joshua's third open-heart (the Fontan - the final O.H. of the Norwood procedure) in the near future. We have quite the history with him & are tremendously blessed to have Josh in his care.

Next, I'd like to tell you about the nurses.  During our hospital stays Joshua always seemed to be quite popular among the nurses. They all loved him. Whether or not he was their patient, many of them would sneak in a quick visit or two during their shift. Looking back, I think they made every patient feel like they were their favorite. That group of nurses in the PCICU are amazing!
One in particular whom we all grew very close to is Janet. She was his nurse the absolute hardest night of my life. It was the night before Joshua had his first open-heart surgery, he was only two days old at this point and my heart was broken. I slept (tried to anyway) in his room that night & watched as his tiny body lay there surrounded by doctors who were trying desperately to get an IV in him.  They tried for hours on end, while his tiny body squirmed and fought them in pain. I sat there crying quietly.  Janet stood there with him, covering his eyes from the bright lights, stroking his forehead & humming a lullaby (all the while assisting the dr's - she did this for hours).  As long as I live I will never forget that night. I'll never forget the pain I felt, but also, I'll never forget the comfort she was to us both. 

Finally, let me tell you about Dr Rivera, Joshua's cardiologist.  From the very start Dr. Rivera has been amazing. He has an awesome outlook on Joshua & his condition. An outlook that, at times, allows us to forget that there's anything wrong with Josh's heart at all. He is ever encouraging & wouldn't think of limiting Joshua in anyway. I appreciate this so much, because I like to let Joshua try whatever he wants to (within reason:), and I can't imagine what life would be like if I constantly monitored him & restricted his play. Right now, Joshua is doing quite well & I very much appreciate that Dr. Rivera has given us the green-light on living life to the fullest.   We are aware that this may not always be the case, but we are loving it while it lasts.

We are so blessed to live in a place where we have such an amazing team of experts readily available.  Thank you - to all of the doctors, nurses and support staff who have made this journey enjoyable and worthwhile!


Katie said...

I adore our docs glad you shared about Joshua's. They truly are remarkable people and if only these surgeons, cards. and nurses really knew what blessings they are to us! Loved your first post this week too...

Mary said...

dude, where's my tissue's?

I don't know if I can handle a whole week of this!

allison said...

I know Mary...try writing them!

Hetrick family said...

I love that you are doing this. What an amazing team Josh has been blessed with. And when I say that I am including his very strong family.

kirk and carrie said...

I don't think I can handle a week of this either. I already had to stop reading it once and come back to it later.

Josh does have the best doctors and nurses around. Can I just say that nobody let alone Dr. Rivera or you could really stop Josh from living life to the fullest. That little kid doesn't take no for an answer from anyone. I love him for it (even when it's frustrating :) ).

Whit and Steve said...

SERIOUSLY!! My eyes welled up with tears the second I saw the picture at the top of the post!

You are still a huge inspiration to me in how strong and positive you were in handling everything! (written as I wipe a tear from my cheek)

You are amazing... as well as that little joshua and the rest of the family too.